Sunday, August 31, 2008

Small Household Appliances

In the spirit of the past week's "domestication", I used an old Christmas giftcard (you know I usually forget about
my giftcards and don't remember until after they've expired) to purchase two new kitchen appliances. Thanks Dear Friend =)

I'm such a nerd! I really like the stainless steel blender as this will be my 1 appliance on display
***a designer trick to eliminating the appearance of a cluttered kitchen is to limit yourself to one appliance on the counter***

My dad makes these really great milkshakes- I think I was a little nostalgic when I got the blender with visions of icecream, pink straws, malts...

The bookstore had a yummy Slow Cook cookbook on the discount aisle. I may have to peruse it again OR find something from here

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Go Bama!

For those of you traveling to Atlanta for the game, go safely, cheer your hearts out, and root us on to a WIN!

Roll Tide Roll!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Somewhere In There... a little bit of Martha Stewart...I hope. Here's a breakdown of my paltry attempts this week:


Every Monday night our Small Group meets at my house and I thought I'd actually make dessert for a change (us singles are notorious for picking up brownies/cookies/cake at Publix on the way over). These little guys were easy enough to make (took 17 minutes) and there's something so fun about colorful sprinkles.


Earlier this week we were plagued by the looming of Hurricane Fay. During nasty rainy days, soup and cornbread always seems like a good go-to comfort meal. So I cooked some creamy potato soup (from a mix) and cornbread and then just dunked one of those muffin-suckers in my soup to soak up the warm goodness of my comfort soup. And although both were from a box, at least I cooked something NOT in the microwave.


A local church held a fresh produce market and I was able to pick up some sweet potatoes, fresh peaches (YUM!), and blackberry jam. After that, I felt very domestic =)


Last night we had Supper Club at my house. and I cooked again. This time from an actual recipe. Giada's Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil and Salmon was quite yummy and I substituted the whole-wheat pasta for spinach pasta...just as healthy and a creamier base.


Beginning tonight, I plan to take it easy. I have no exciting plans for the weekend other than making a list of random house items to find (still in search mode for my kitchen chalkboard) and delving into some crafts which may or may not include me breaking out that sewing machine that I've never touched (thanks again Momma for sewing my pillows!). That's quite!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Under the Sea

Coral, Coral Everywhere...
...and not a Reef to Swim

I'm not obsessed. At least I don't think I am; nevertheless, coral is a beautiful home accessory whether it be as a display piece, a lamp, or a design stitched on pillows.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warm It Up...Keep It Goin'

By the way, if you're a runner OR walker and don't know about iPod's Nike Plus, it's an incredible set-up. I have a chip that I put in my left shoe (completely undetectable while running) and a chip inserted in the USB part of my iPod...and then I just GO.

It graphs my workout progress, distance, splits, and calories burned. And it keeps track of my best overall time/splits/distance; compares my runs individually or by week/month. It's a motivator and a coach. Yes, can you tell? I fell head over heels for my iPod Nike Plus program.

Tesney's blog on her iPod Running Playlist inspired me to post my Playlist as well. It's always fun to share...and steal these things. Hope you don't mind Tes!

I don't have a set order to my songs; I put it on random for my NikePlus workout program and my iPod Power Song (the one that you select when you need to Keep it Goin') is Calabria. Here's a list of my top 20 favorite running songs:

  1. Pump It- Black Eyed Peas
  2. The Distance- Cake
  3. One More Time- Daft Punk
  4. Calabria 2007 Club Mix - Enur
  5. The Rockafeller Skank- Fatboy Slim
  6. London Bridge- Fergie
  7. Me & My Uncle (fast version)- Grateful Dead
  8. Rock and Roll- Led Zeppelin
  9. Nobody's Fault But Mine- Led Zeppelin
  10. Four Sticks- Led Zeppelin
  11. Immigrant Song- Led Zeppelin
  12. Stay- Dave Matthews Band
  13. Get Busy- Sean Paul
  14. We Be Burnin'- Sean Paul
  15. Temperature- Sean Paul
  16. Young Folks- Peter Bjorn and John
  17. Bulls on Parade- Rage Against the Machine
  18. Renegades of Funk- Rage Against the Machine
  19. Jessica- The Allman Brothers
  20. SexyBack- Justin Timberlake

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Bad & The Ugly: True Dating Stories

Wow- Saturday night I was stood up! STOOD UP!

Well, kind of...

We were supposed to firm-up plans Friday afternoon for Saturday and I never heard from the guy. Which ended up being okay since I had a friend from Texas who called Saturday morning as she was driving into town last-minute; she and her father were able to stay at my house that night instead. So, I've rationalized the situation since our date wouldn't have worked out anyway, BUT it doesn't change the fact that he never even called. Sheesh!

So, in lieu of getting stood up, I thought I'd share some of my Bad...and even Ugly, Dating Stories:

1) R*** was a blind date set-up from a quasi-friend. Most people would have turned to run at this point...I "shoulda, coulda, woulda" in restrospect.

Although R*** was a complete gentleman the entire date, there were a few dealbreaking moves he made along the way. First of all, he arrives to pick me up and is wearing cargo shorts, a Led Zeppelin t-shirt layered with an untucked, wrinkled button down. That wasn't the worst though...on his feet, he's wearing socks with CROCS. Yep, those nasty, awful shoes. And he shows up for a first date in them. Sharp!

As we're driving to dinner, I find out that he's younger than my little brother (ewwww icky! my quasi-friend has now been demoted to not-a-friend-at-all) and oh he still lives at home with his parents since he decided to drop out of school.

R*** was a nice enough guy, but a little odd, to say the least. As a hobby, he re-enacts, and dresses in Medieval attire. He paid for dinner, took me home, I thanked him for nice company, he was gentlemanly but this wasn't going anywhere ever. He took the news graciously. It wasn't a bad date due to the events. It was just a bad date because it was a horrible set-up.

The cherry on top was that my quasi-friend later disclosed that R*** actually prefers to dress as a woman while re-enacting in Medieval attire. WEIRD And yes, my quasi-friend has officially proven herself to be not-a-friend-at-all. Who would do this to a friend?

2) Knight in Shining Armor has already been mentioned in this blog, but he was also a blind-date setup. Thank goodness this blind-date was a double date with a close friend and her boyfriend.

What I learned of Knight in Shining Armor prior to the date was that on-paper he appeared to have everything in his life together and on-track. He took several leadership positions, had post-graduate degrees and was successfully climbing the career ladder. He was involved in his church and had a good group of friends. Well, maybe he was talked-up a little too much because when I met him, nothing clicked in-person at all.

On this Bad Date, I was to blame for clamming up. Knight in Shining Armor was a mellow sort of guy, laid back and the type that seems comfortable never opening his mouth. Just made me feel awkward in addition to my friend overcompensating and talking a little too much. We had a ridiculously long and painful date of 4 hours of not talking to each all.

3) Although these first 2 were blind dates, I've made some bad dating choices on my own too! The Fall after graduation, I started dating Atlanta Stockbroker. He was a little older (~35), very career-driven, and had appeared to be interested in investing quality dating time.

Or so I thought.

It was something like our fourth or fifth date, and he was scheduled to drive in town so we could then travel to a football game. Atlanta Stockbroker actually was a bigger fan of my Alma Mater's football team than I was (although this is not difficult to do...reference this post). I was excited. My company had given me the tickets in a great section and it would also be my first visit back since graduation.

The morning of the game Atlanta Stockbroker calls and recounts a sad story of how the day before he'd had his haircut. Evidently said haircut was horribly embarassing and he was ashamed of how he looked. He asked for me to find him a good school-spirit baseball cap before he got in town. I searched the town over looking for the perfect hat and was proud to find just the right one after only visiting 3 different stores.

I called him back to relay the news and he said he hadn't left Atlanta yet, but that he would soon. I wasn't worried and even offered to drive my car once he arrived in town since he sounded tired. He seemed okay with idea this even though he had originally wanted to tout his crimson convertible Corvette (specifically painted to display his school-spirit...he was hardcore). So I made sure my car was spotless, filled-up and even packed little pre-Game snacks and drinks for our roadtrip.

It's 1 hrs to Game Time and then he was a no-show. Atlanta Stockbroker stood me up too. And his excuses changed ranging from: "I have a cold" to..."I was recently diagnosed with skin cancer and the stress has kept me from sleeping" to..."Work has just been so tough on me lately, I really have to catch up on some things."

I decided right then and there that he was just full of excuses and I didn't have to accept any of them. Especially when they all seem to morph into something different each time he's asked.

Interestingly enough, Atlanta Stockbroker still calls and texts me at the most random times. We first dated back in 2004, but I heard from him again in 2006 and then most recently he called me earlier this year and then sent me text messages 1 week ago. I've decided he must keep some sort of Database and he rotates his calls/text messages in some sort of 2-yr cycle in hopes that one of his old dates or exes will take him back.

He's Good at being sketchy... Bad at keeping commitments...and just plain Ugly to think he can still have a chance!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

100th Post

Thank you to all my reader friends & cheers to many more!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Have you ever heard of Wordle? It's a word cloud created from words in my Blog. Try it for fun...especially good for a late Friday afternoon =)

Can I Get a Roll Tide?

Roll Tide!

And I don't always like to announce this, but historically, I'm not a football fan. I went to a big-time football university and this fact was something I kept to myself. In fact, I was an Athletic Hostess for the University- one of the girls that dresses in the skirt-suits to greet Tide Pride patrons for the games- and enjoyed it more from meeting new people, and not necessarily due to being a visible part of athletic events.

BUT people can change and for whatever reason, I find myself more of a fan now than when I was a student. Maybe it's because Game Day was more of a job to me than an enjoyment. Now, I'm actually looking forward to this season. Plus the tailgating part was always fun anyway and I like any reason to throw a PAR-TAY!


First I'll need basics- plates,cups & napkins. You could use the "official" ones, but I also like it when I've seen the black and white houndstooth plates and napkins with red and white cups used as the decorating theme.

And of course standard tailgating fare: burgers, steaks, chips and dip, party hors d'oeuvres. Nothing too fancy, it's more about the pre-game spirit than the food anyway. Plus- if you have a Master Griller, then it's the burgers that take the spotlight anyhow. Speaking of which, I found this innovative grill topper to brand your steaks and burgers so you can show your ultimate school spirit: And my friend Amy sent me this picture...check out this Bryant-Denny Stadium cake- isn't that incredible?
Of course, for those games we'll watch at home, I suppose the first order of the Season will be to switch from this...
(not really mine)
to something more like this:

(not mine either...yet)

And for a fashion teaser, Bama girls know that through the sticky humidity and blazing sun, you still get out there to dress up in your best Game Day attire (this isn't a joke by the's not unusual to see $300 dresses worn to games...just can't get too upset when you emerge from the Stadium drenched in bourbon):

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Raindrops On Roses And Whiskers On Kittens...

These are a few of my favorite things:
I'm several days late getting this out (I try for the second Friday of each month) but last Friday was my little brother's wedding! Which brings me to Favorite #1...
1. My New Sister-In-Law: I couldn't have asked for a more perfect-fitting sister-in-law. Love you Pink Pimpette! Does anyone reading think it's a little weird that they've been calling family members on their Honeymoon just to chat? Hmmm, I know what I'd be doing on my Honeymoon! Of course, they are off the beaches of South Florida...and evidently during Hurricane Hades!
2. Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream: specifically Extra Rich, Light Dulce De Leche Caramel
3. Kitchen Chalkboards: well in honor of kids going back-to-school, I've decided that my kitchen is lacking this homage to education. Anyone know where to find a cheap one? This one from Pottery Barn is ri-dunkulous @ $'s just a chalkboard!

4. My Small Group: we don't always get to the devotional study planned, but many times that's for the better. I'm so thankful Katiebug & Dear Friend separately shared with me that they wanted a group back in March; Ben came on board; Dear Friend has since moved away; now we've added Nick (not pictured). They're great friends, a support system and prayer warriors.

5. My Office View: although I will admit that during important Conference Calls, I catch myself staring out the window and have to refocus...again and again. Monday I looked down and saw a super-large wood turtle moving along the ivy brush; that fatboy was pretty cool to watch.

6. Funky Dining Room Inspirations: these are random pictures I've collected, my apologies for not knowing to whom I should credit.

7. Running: well, we have a love-hate relationship. But it's a good practice of discipline. There are lots of things in life that will require sticking through and toughing things out. Running is a voluntary choice, that's not particularly fun for me, but I always feel it does good for both my mind and body afterwards. Since the past 2 weeks have been so hectic, I hadn't kept up my regular running routine and right now, my body is NOT happy from running last night, but I'll get over it soon enough...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gypsy Cooking

So, one of my favorite things to do is throw dinner parties. In fact, there's a group of us who love this and that's how Supper Club was born. But when I host, the tricky thing is that I almost never stick with the recipes. I use them as a sort of guideline... look at the ingredients suggested, the order and ways in which things are prepared, and then I substitute, and in general, make-it-up as I go along. Could never tell you the exact measurement, I just "eye it" and guess.

But I'm hungry right now and want to reveal some of my favorite recipe variations.



Chicken breasts pounded flat
Bearnaise sauce (you can cheat like I did and buy it in a jar, or it's simple to make from scratch)

For the Stuffing Inside:
Cream cheese softened
Crab meat (just used 1 or 2 cans...whatever I had on hand)
Chives, finely chopped
Garlic powder

Crumbs (I think in the last time I didn't have bread crumbs, so I finely crushed Ritz crackers or something of that sort)

  1. Oven @ 350 F
  2. Mix all the Stuffing Ingredients together
  3. Lay chicken out & insert a dollop of stuffing; tuck corners over (use toothpicks to temporarily hold)
  4. Make egg wash using an egg & a brief pour of milk
  5. Dunk chicken in flour, then egg wash, then coat with crumbs
  6. Place in baking dish with corners face down; remove toothpicks (should stay-put)
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes (make sure there's no pink!)
  8. Top with heated Bearnaise sauce.




Then once I took this recipe for Maple Chicken Cream de Brie Sauce and gave it my own twist.


Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

equal parts- Honey; Maple Syrup; Brown Sugar
Garlic Powder
Crushed Red Pepper (this ingredient is key for the kick!)

Brie Sauce:
Heavy Whipping Cream
White Wine
Garlic chipped
Chopped chives
Dijon Mustard


  1. Mix marinade ingredients & then marinate the Chicken for 15 minutes in a large Ziploc bag. Make sure it inhales all the sweet, sugary goodness. I always add just a sprinkle more of the red pepper right before I place it in the oven.
  2. Bake chicken @ 350 F for 35-40 minutes (I put foil down because this mess gets very gooey)
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining wine, garlic and chives in a large sauce pan. Add cream and simmer for 10 minutes, then add Brie and mustard...keep stirring mixture to make sure the lumps melt evenly. I'm pretty sure I added a little more wine here and there until the consistency was just right.
  4. Top the candied chicken with the Brie sauce and it's a yummy goodness you wouldn't expect!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jamie's Day

Jamie Michele turns 26 today... and she's as darling and beautiful as ever before!
Jamie, aka Buckeye Belle, is a kindred spirit. She has a gift of discernment that I deeply admire. I know I can turn to her for wise counsel and advice...and when she doesn't have an answer, instead of relying on her off-the-cuff opinion (like I'd do), she prays over it. Jamie Michele is a godly woman with a compassionate heart and a good head on her shoulders. I love you girl!

Thai Emerald- Jamie's Birthday Celebration 2007

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Raining Presents

We threw Pink Pimpette's Bridal Shower on Sunday and it was a hit with a huge turnout and lots of celebrating!

for Guests

Pink Punch with a heart-shaped ice ring.

Cake & Sweets Table
Food Buffet (well there was food everywhere you turned!) The Shower Hostesses & Pink Pimpette
It's a tradition. Mom makes an heirloom correspondence box and fills it with Mr & Mrs stationery for the Bride & Groom. Pink Pimpette loved it!